Elsewhere online
March 17, 2016

Military Metes Out Punishment in Charity Hospital Bombing

The U.S. military has disciplined more than a dozen officers and enlisted personnel for errors defense official say led to the deadly bombing of a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in northern Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports. No criminal charges were filed over the October 3 air raid, which killed 42 people and prompted the medical charity to abandon its operations in the city of Kunduz, then the site of fierce fighting between Taliban and Afghan government forces.

The punishments, which have not yet been publicly announced, are largely administrative but in some cases could effectively halt career progress for those faulted. A Doctors Without Borders spokeswoman said the organization would not comment until the Pentagon notifies it directly about the disciplinary actions or announces them publicly.

The charity has sought an international investigation of the bombing, which the U.S. military said resulted from errant targeting of the hospital by an Air Force gunship that was dispatched to hit a nearby Taliban command base but relied on a physical description of the site due to problems with its targeting sensors. Officials said numerous opportunities to avert the error were missed.